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Life on the Lusitania

April 11, 2011

The long national nightmare is over. The nightmare of our politicians goofing around with the budget until we almost had to shut down the Smithsonian for the weekend and quit paying people? Well, that, too, but I’m talking about MY nightmare.

I had to drive my mom’s big green 94 Lincoln Continental for 10 days.

Oh, I was glad to have a car for my use, but there were just a couple of little things:
The car is the size of the Lusitania. (I could have said “Titanic” there, but somehow Lusitania is just a funnier name, don’t you think?)

The car has white leather seats and I have a big, muddy dog. See: brown-streaked white leather seats and drool marks on the windows. Also, Goldie slid around on those leather seats like a cartoon character on a banana peel. Poor dog.

The advances in cup-holder technology in the past 17 years have been truly stunning. Or, I suppose, the lack of cup-holder technology in 1994 is what has me baffled. There are two sets of cup-holders in the car. Two on the floor are about 1/2 inch deep and bigger than the average travel mug. Who figured out the physics behind THIS genius idea? They are not so much cup holders as cup surrounders. That little half-inch lip doesn’t do anything except help the cup tip over, as it does within 10 seconds of hitting the gas pedal.

The other cup holders, which flip out from the pull-down arm rests, have a front and back but no sides. Because no one ever goes around corners in cars? Seriously. As soon as you make a left-hand turn, the cup tips into your lap, conveniently pouring hot coffee onto your work slacks. Or if you turn right, it tips onto the formerly white leather seats.

I spent a lot of time driving the Lusitania and musing on what led engineers to be so stupid in 1994. Did they not care that the cup holders didn’t work? Did they not know about ordinary physics and mechanics? Did they not know that cup holders are the single most important part of a car?

Anyway. I got a new car yesterday. It isn’t as cute as the Fit, but it has perfectly sufficient cupholders. And heated leather seats. And a 100,000 mile warranty. And most important, Goldie likes it. It’s a Hyundai Elantra Touring with all kinds of bells and whistles.

I got it through the Costco buying program, which I highly recommend. You fill out a form at the Costco website, they let the dealer know you are interested, you do all the test-driving and tire-kicking, then the dealer gives you a Costco-negotiated price. This car was $300 below dealer invoice. Yay.

Don’t look for me online. I will be out driving around, enjoying my new cup-holders.

  1. April 11, 2011 07:57

    We got my car through Costco pricing, too. It really cut down on the hassle factor!

    • April 11, 2011 13:51

      It was pretty cool. I also hear Costco is sending me a gift card for accessories. AND I got a $500 rebate. All good.

  2. Lisa permalink
    April 11, 2011 12:04

    Hey, I have the same car. It rocks! Holds dogs, kids, stuff, and has like 6 cup holders AND I can plug my iPod into the car radio.

    Ahhh, progress.

    • April 11, 2011 13:49

      All the cool people are driving them!

  3. April 11, 2011 15:21

    Would you be willing to talk to one of our consumer advice editors about your buying experience through Costco?

  4. April 11, 2011 19:01

    Cool!! Congrats. Great way to buy a car! I understand that Hyundai’s warranty program rocks.

    Still….I love my FIT.

    • April 12, 2011 05:58

      I am still second-guessing myself. Every time I see a Fit, my heart jumps a little.

  5. April 13, 2011 08:47

    Lusitania is far funnier than Titanic like jog is funnier than run. Glad you’re coffee (and you and Goldie) is safe now!

  6. April 13, 2011 19:51

    Pretty! Sorry you needed it, but I’m sure you’ll grow to love this one too. My car in high school (in 1993) was a 1974 Chrysler Newport. It was gigantic (no cupholders). It had gold and cream brocade seats and was so big we once fit our entire varsity football team in the front and back seats. Good times.

    • April 14, 2011 09:16

      Brocade! They don’t make them like that anymore.

  7. April 14, 2011 07:51

    I’m thinking about getting a Fit, so I was going to ask if there was some reason you didn’t get another one, but I see you’re still pining a bit, so I assume you didn’t decide against the Fit so much as you decided for something else. In other words, this is a pointless comment. A wordier version of: New car! Yay!

    (New car!) (Yay!)

    • April 14, 2011 09:19

      The new car has a 100000 mile powertrain warranty, heated leather seats…that’s how they got me. But the looks of the Fit are so much nicer and I loved that car!

  8. Al_Pal permalink
    April 19, 2011 23:00

    Yay, heated seats! ;D

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